Archive - 2009

This Is Different From Anything You’ve Ever Done
The Positive Flush
How Do You Talk To You?
Slumps and BRAC
Rocking With Worry
Tipping The Scale: The Management Of Mood
Create Your Day
What If?
The Hormones and Chemical Reactions of Positive Emotions
A Wider Vision Of Passion

This Is Different From Anything You’ve Ever Done

Thermometer2.jpgWe work here on increasing well-being, raising your happiness set-point and increasing you emotional set-point. We work here on going from good to better and on to best. The focus is not on what is negative, wrong, non-resolved, or needing improvement. We don’t talk here about the weakness you have to improve because we believe that you do it best by focusing on what is good about you. Our purpose is not problem-solving or learning to be positive in order to solve problems. It is finding and enjoying the goodness in life for its own sake each day. We teach people to live in an UpSpiral everyday; that is our aim. The world is full of therapists and counselors, problem-solvers, and healers of every kind. We are not healers, only in that healing is a by-product of the positive mind. What we need are places of positivity, where we become more positive, more optimistic and learn to view and savor life through the lens of what is good. Positive watering holes are hard to find. This is one of them.

We believe this so strongly that we claim that positivity is the core of ongoing, creative evolution. We believe that the power of positivity is eVision8.jpgnormous and largely untapped, that worlds are created by it, and that our civilization is sustained because of it. Positivity is a power waiting for you to tap by changing your focus on life. The emerging sciences are telling us, over and over, through the hard research, that this is true.

The focus is on feeling more positive emotion, finding your strengths, increasing your positive vibration, and moving into the experience of “flow.” We believe in the importance of setting goals that are malleable and finding your vision and your passion.

Our central aim is to increase your positivity, what we call your UpSpiral. The higher you go in your UpSpiral, the longer you learn to stay there, the better you will feel in every area of your life. Seeing as much of life as possible through a positive lens, in spite of the negative, is our goal. We spend way too much time, as does our culture, in looking at the negative. This is a place Negativity_Erased.jpgto engage the power of positivity. Its purpose is not to solve problems, but to see the world differently.

The truth is this. We have everything we need today and every day to be perfectly happy. When we learn to be happy and positive today, we increase the happiness that comes to us, maybe not instantaneously, but over time. As the positive reservoir builds, more and more of a satisfying life emerges. The secret is quite simply to learn to be happy and positive today, to see the best in the past, and to think about the good you want in the future rather than fear it. Today I have everything I need to be perfectly happy. The real determinant is my decision to be happy. Abraham Lincoln said it best: “A man is about as happy as he decides to be.” We are here to help you sustain that decision.

The Positive Flush

Grinch3.jpgThere is a custom in some religions to have a period called “advent” before Christmas. It is a period of purification and cleansing to be more open to receive the “Christ-life” in a new way at Christmas. It is a wonderful idea of emptying out the negative.

What can be very surprising, though, is that one of the best ways of washing out the negative, what doesn’t fit and doesn’t belong in us, is to practice growing a positive mind. You will find that as you become more positive, you will have times when the positive pushes up and out what is negative and doesn’t belong. One would not think that being positive and practicing love, peace, gratitude, joy and hope would lead to anything but “feeling good.” It does, for sure, but it will also provide a “flushing out” of the negative which is being re-ordered, reorganized, and routinized in different ways in the brain. The Positive Life organizes the brain in a new and different way.

The left frontal lobe is responsible for “routinization” in the brain. That means it is a “router” and sorter of the information intake of the active right frontal lobe. It is interesting that the left frontal lobe is also the “seat” of happiness in the brain. So the part that “sorts” is also the originator of happiness. Growing a positive mind causes this router of information and experience to start working in a different way.Brain_Light.jpg

Sometimes the negative just needs to be flushed away.

The flush may take place in your dream life. It may take place by having more negative emotions when you think you should be having only positive ones. The neuropathways are just realigning and re-learning and establishing new “neural nets” in the brain that affect the very roots and the very core of development and reasoning. After all, you are learning to think and be in a new way.

There are a lot of metaphors at this time of year, called solstice, about letting the “light” come into the darkness of the shortest day in the year. There is no question that a negative, DownSpiral mind leads to a kind of “darkness” of mood and rigid thinking that has become fixed in habits that are limiting and narrowing for the brain. Most of the time our negative emotional patterns are learned and there is no great “why” or single explanation other than thatHabits2.jpg they are learned and new ways have to be learned to replace them.

So don’t be surprised when your growing positivity creates a “flush” of the negative. It is all a part of the process. And just as the “light” increases a little bit each day into spring and summer, so does the life of positivity within us. We grow just a little more positive each day; the positive emotional muscle increases just a little more with each flex of love, peace, gratitude, joy, and hope. Make the Emotional Gym one of your gifts to yourself throughout the holiday.

How Do You Talk To You?

In studieAmygdala.jpgs done at Harvard in neuroscience, we know that whenever a person uses a swear word, it arouses the amygdala of the old brain, the place of strong negative emotions. When we read a swear word, it arouses the basal ganglia which, among other things, establishes our habits.

Our swear words often make up our inner self-talk. If anyone on the outside talked to us like we talk to ourselves, we would battle with them.

Talk to yourself like you would like others to talk to you. Talk to yourself in the kindest, most gentle and forgiving way. Talk to yourself in healing ways.

For example:

I am a wonderfully kind, sensitive and cariHeart4.jpgng person. The mistakes I make aren’t nearly as significant as the good things that I do. My good so far outweighs anything wrong that what is wrong is disappearing. People like me. People love me. I love me. I have the best of intentions and I see the best in myself and in other people.

I am attractive and I attract into my life what is good and lovely.

Say itHeart5.jpg and mean it and another part of your brain, called the anterior cingulate, which is the “heart” of the brain, activates feelings of love, peace, joy, and gratitude. The anterior cingulate will also lesson the negative activity of the amygdala of the brain.

You are what you think and you become the emotions you live in. Your brain remembers how you talk to yourself.


Slumps and BRAC

We alSpark_Plug.jpgl have slumps when we are obviously not operating with all of our cylinders of energy and positivity firing. Why does it happen? Why is that I can have a down day or a down several days? When you all get finished asking the wrong question, which is “why,” and come up with a thousand different answers, let me say that it doesn’t matter. It just happens. The question is– how do we use it? Use the time gently and be as encouraging to yourself as you would be with your best friend. Treat yourself as nicely and as lovingly as a friend who was having a slump. Would you beat up on them and ask them a thousand questions until you got to the very “bottom” of their souls? Of course not! Tell yourself how good you are when all your “cylinders” are firing. Tell yourself what it feels like when you’re not in a slump. Tell yourself that you know you will bounce back, and not only back, but that you are very resilient, and that you will be feeling even better, that you will be even higher and higher in your UpSpiral.

Go to your UpSpiraLife Group and just listen. Don’t tell them that you’re in a slump and expect them to fix you because they aren’t going to do it; problem solving is not the purpose of the group.Time6.jpg

BRAC is an acronym for our daily biological clock of the highest high and lowest low within a 24 hour period. My lowest low is 4:00 a.m. in the morning and the high of my day is around 4:00 in the afternoon. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that those are my worst or my best times. But regardless, there is that biological cycle. It is not an excuse for me to feel worse, think worse, and expect something worse at 4:00 a.m. in the morning. I usually wake up and I chant and pulse myself back to sleep. I used to make the mistake, years ago, of asking “why” and thinking about everything that was a problem at 4:00 a.m. in the morning. It was awful and nothing ever got solved because it all looked different in the light of day. Now instead of worrying about everything that seems awful and likely comes out of the feeling tone of my dream sleep, I chant and feel gratitude, love, peace, and joy and soon I am back to sleep.

Slumps just are and there may or may not be a reason for them. If there is, the reason will “show up” when you feel better. It will come to you later. The Universe is notPearl.jpg trying to get your attention by pulling you down to punish you and tell you there is something wrong with you or your world. It will just come to you if you leave it alone. In one way or another it will come to you. The more you nag at it and dissect it and talk about it, the more you create it. The best answers to your problems come when you aren’t thinking about them. The answers surprise you when they come through someone else or a movie or a book, or just a “knowing.” Stop beating your slump and yourself to death and practice the principles that we teach here. You become the emotions you choose to live in. Lean, just gently, peacefully toward the positive, even if you can do it only a little.

Rocking With Worry

Brain_Puzzle.jpgWhether or not you use all of your brain doesn’t really matter so much as where you spend each day’s allotment of your psychic energy. You only have a certain amount. Use it well or you get tired during the day and burn-out over the long-term. Believe it or not, your brain runs best on happiness. This is “brain synchrony.” Your brain runs best on “feeling good.” In an UpSpiral, the top is gratitude and joy, the bottom is despair and despondency.

Worry, which is negative thinking about the future, most depletes the psychic energy that produces brain synchrony. Once you get the hang of maintaining brain synchrony you have the potential of raising your consciousness, which over time could look like this:


Feeling Good

I work at just getting people to “feeling good.” The biggest block is worry. My grandmother used to say that she was ruminating. She would sit in a big rocker and rock in a consistent rhythm, with a faraway look of concern, and ruminate. What she was doing was worrying. One day, when I was very young, I asked her why she was “rocking to worry” and she responded by saying that it Rockers.jpgwas the only thing she could do about certain situations.

The only way I could distract her was by getting into something that I should get into or by doing something that I shouldn’t be doing. That would rouse her and the day would go on. What a model that has become for many of us today. Worry until we create some actual problem that demands our immediate attention and shakes us from our worry.

Worry is a waste of psychic energy. It is a waste of the brain synchrony that really does cause us to feel good, and in higher stages of brain synchrony, move us to joy and even to bliss. It’s entirely possible.

90% of what we worry about never happens. The 10% that happens does so in a way that we never would have expected with solutions we couldn’t have imagined. Worry is a waste and it is also a choAnxiety2.jpgice.

Worry is habit and it is a character defect. It is also a choice. Let the “rocking” you do be to the feelings of gratitude, peace, joy, love and hope. Instead of worry, lean gently in the direction of the positive. Also, do something. Move a muscle, change a thought.

Tipping The Scale: The Management Of Mood

Brain_Route.jpgHow much conscious control do we have over emotions and feelings and consequent mood? The figures vary, but there is one interesting observation in all the research. The more consideration we give to states of mind and happiness, the more the research shows that we have more and more control over emotions than we would ever have thought. A common belief, and it is only a belief, combined with some scattered and speculative research, is that we have 40% control over our emotional state. The remaining 60% is genetic.

Let’s just say, for speculation, that the figure is 40%.Scales.jpg

You have 40% of your own will that is working with 60% of a genetic predisposition. Of the 60% genetic predisposition, all of that is not “sour” or negative. No one was born with a totally “sour” disposition, although there are some people who are trying to win the title. About 20%, at the very least, of your 60% “genetic predisposition” is positive or toward the positive range of emotion. If you take that 20% and your own 40% of choice, that’s 60% and that’s enough to keep you in the upward elevation of mood and emotion all of the time. It is a matter of choice.

However you cPercent.jpgut it, there is an amazing space of choice in emotion. Most of negative emotional patterns are learned. There are some, in a small percentage, that are inherited, but most are learned. And even in inherited, chemical mood issues, there is still a larger range of choice than we believe, that aids in healing and balance.

Here is what is important to know. You can learn and develop a pattern, that is like a default setting of the emotions of gratitude, love, peace, and joy. The amount of time your mind just wanders is the amount of time you can choose to lean toward a positive emotion. Consistent positive emotion at a low grade, like a 1 or 2 or 3 on a scale of 1-10, is more effective in maintaining happiness that one big event of happiness once a month.

The best way to manage mood and to elevate mood is consistent practice of positive emotion over time. Consistent means daily. Tip the scales of your life strongly in the direction of positive emotion and you will feel better and be healthier.

It just takes remembering and practice, and those are the hardest things. But you can tip the scale in the direction of positive feelings. You know that there are those, who by their own choice, have tipped their scale in the direction of the negative. Why not make a choice tip it in the other direction?

Create Your Day

Everything tBrain_Tech.jpghat you think, say, do and feel creates the brain you have. Every thought has a corresponding neuron, and the same thoughts and feelings over time, develop the neuropathways that set you up to feel what you feel and think what you think -and they create your day.

I am going to challenge you to do it another way. In Quantum Physics, we know that we create what we intend. You can create what you want each and every day. That’s why we wrote a book called Plans to The Universe and The Answers Back. This is a workbook to get you to create your day. I challenge you do write down everyday how you want your day to be and to ask for a good surprise or two.amazon_small.jpg

I tracked several people who were doing this exercise and asked them to track with me how much of what they created actually came true for them. I chose 5 of these people for the book Plans to The Universe and the Answers Back. What they wrote three years ago is still coming true in their lives. Their work, parts of which you will see reproduced in the book, comprises 90 days of deliberate, focused daily planning.

They wrote a short daily plan and then kept track of what happened. They got what they wrote about, even from the beginning.

This is the choice. Either create your day by focusing on what you want or let the day “unfold” and bring you whatever “shows up.” The change in perception this creates is remarkablCalendar.jpge. The names of the people who wrote the entries are even included in the book.

Plans to the Universe and the Answers Back, available on this website or through Amazon, includes 90 daily entries from 5 very different people. Each section starts with a different plan from each of them. Some are somewhat complex and others are markedly simple. Then there is a quote from me, followed by blank space for you to write your daily plan. The section closes with a thought from Dr. Donald Johnson, co-author and Associate Director of ANI. We wrote it to guide people in writing a Daily Plan.

This is very simple. Create your day by writing down what you want. Write it with the intention that this is how you want your day to be and you will see what you have intentioned come back to you. Do it for 90 days and establish it as a habit and you will start to do with your day what you are learning to do with your emotions -tell them what you want them to be.

Everyday I write down how I want my day to be and everyday, if I am open, my day comes back to me as I wanted it. So far everything I have written is true or is coming into being. What if you did it? What if it worked?



What If?

What If…

What if it were announced in all of the news media and on the front pages of every newspaper that positive mental attitude and positive emotion were the single most significant factors in health and success? Well, the truth is that they are. Why wait for the announcement to be made before you make the deep decisions to be positive and to lean in that direction?

What if…

Instead of trying to be positive when you realized that you were negative, you just used the time during the day when you are thinking about nothing in Newspaper3.jpgparticular. A vast part of our day is spent with our mind simply going from one thing to another, undisciplined and wandering. It is difficult to get from a negative place to a really positive one, although you can lean toward feeling positive when you are negative.

The far more helpful thing would be to use the other times during the day when you aren’t thinking about anything particular -the free mental time- to start to do the positivity chant -thank-you, thank-you, thank-you, thank-you, gratitude, gratitude, gratitude. The next time you take a walk or you’re driving, go to positive feelings and practice them. Try it the next time you brush your teeth -joy, joy, joy, joy. Mindfulness is drawing the brain to the default setting of positive emotion.

Candle_Glow.jpgWhat if…

Positivity and the capacity for sustaining positive emotion could change the world?

They can and they are.

What if…

You were a part of making it happen? Will you?

The Hormones and Chemical Reactions of Positive Emotions

TheAnatomy.jpg research is beginning to emerge. Science is showing the effect of positive emotions in releasing healthy hormones into the body. Not only are healthy hormones released, but the unhealthy release of cortisol and stress related hormones is less and less. I’ll be spending more and more time on the blog talking about what these benefits are, but many of you already know them because you feel them having a positive effect in your body.

Feeling good contributes to your health. Five of the emotions that are the most significant are… guess what? Gratitude, peace, joy, hope, and love.Groups.jpg

Positive emotions also set up your expectations. It is difficult to expect positive things. It is difficult to think in the direction of positive outcomes when you aren’t feeling positive emotions. Feeling positive emotions takes practice and support. You need to feel positive emotions everyday with specific exercises you use, and you need to belong to a support group that is dedicated to higher and higher levels of positivity. We need the support of others to do this and we need to know that others are working on this as well.

Positive eRainbow2.jpgmotions do not come from wishing you had them; they come from working at growing neuropathways in the brain that are positive. Here’s a hint. Start to look for everything around you that is good. In even the most negative situation, see if you can find one thing that is good.

A Wider Vision Of Passion

We are disVision5.jpgcovering that it is a “vision” of one’s life that will most heal the negative core beliefs of the past. It is also a wider vision of the future that will grease the passage through a transition. Negative core beliefs and transitions cause us to go into a DownSpiral and to “clutch” at what is, making ourselves the victims of this or that trauma or change. Actually, the brain is simply attempting to conserve glucose (the fuel of the brain) in order to maintain a constant level of synchronicity. When that is threatened, a fear mechanism is kicked into gear which signals some threat, the worst of which is the “unknown.” This is a biological response to novelty or “newness” solely to conserve psychic energy and maintain the glucose fuel burn. It would be like an override in your car that slows your car down when you are going at a speed that is using more gas than needed for the speed at which you are accelerating.

Think of not being able to increase the speed of your car going up a steep hill. The brain is doing something like that when it is time for a “wider vision.” We Transmission.jpgare comfortable when we are coasting along until it slows us down and doesn’t seem work to work as smoothly.

The function of vision is to heal the past and to guide the individual and group “brain” toward the future with eagerness and enthusiasm. Inspiration cannot come, the “how” cannot be created, and the leaders cannot emerge when there is no vision or a puny vision that really does not move you through a transition in life.

We pay little attention to transitions and we know less about them. But they are the stuff of life. We are enthralled by people who keep reinventing themselves because it is the work of all of us. And it is the work to reinvent, sometimes in whole new ways, the visions that once drove us to greatness.

TherPot_O_Gold.jpge is an enormous abundance of ideas and this is the time to get the billion dollar idea. This is the time to get the idea that will put your organization forward in a way that will speak to a new age with aliveness, vitality and verve. A vision, when it is right, arouses passion and the desire to “belong to it.”

Everything you learn here– from the Emotional Gym, to Strengths, to VibeCore, to FuturePac, to VisioNavigator and MasteRevelation, is about this vision that we never get done but that keeps us soooo alive in the living of it.

Copyright © 2015 The Applied Neuroscience Institute